Wednesday 10 November 2010

Passage birds lingering or wintering at Brega

Last time I went to Brega I commented that it was a little bit hotter, more westerly and drier than Benghazi and that this could produce different birds. This time (on Friday) there definitely was a difference.

greenshank, lake at New Brega, November 6th

There were two or three species of bird which have left Benghazi and the north coast of Cyrenaica on passage south but which I saw at Brega. It is so late now they are probably wintering birds and won't travel further south. In that sense the Brega area may have something in common with the southern oasis towns.

Most greenshank (see picture above) winter south of the Sahara but the one I saw here will almost certainly stay.

yellow wagtail, lake at old Brega, November 6th

It is much rarer for yellow wagtail (except the Egyptian yellow wagtail which is arguably a different species) than greenshank to winter north of the Sahara but there were several here.

black- crowned night heron, Lake at New Brega

There were also at least three black-crowned night heron which were disturbed by teenagers while I was there.  You may remember I reported a flock of 30 at Wadi Al Khalij about 3 weeks ago. The bird is not on the Collins guide book map for Libya but now I have seen two groups 400 kilometres apart. I have little doubt that they are not a rare bird in north east Libya at this time of year.

two black-crowned night heron, Lake at New Brega

I think its possible that both groups of night heron may winter but its more likely with the flock in the Brega area because I saw this group 3 weeks later and its noticeably warmer here in winter.

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